For years entertainers have adopted a precious role in ridding away difficulties posed against those of the developing world. With such charitable responsibility, ten Latina powerhouses from an assortment of entertaining realms have quintessentially supported strategies that give back to many, albeit by endorsement or establishment of a personal foundation.

1) Cuban musician Gloria Estefan has been sincerely active in providing global health, especially helping those who suffer from paralysis-related illnesses. A paralysis-sufferer herself, the “Conga” songstress founded The Gloria Estefan Foundation in 1997 as a means to empower”the youth by financial support for good health, cultural development and education.

2) Mexican singer Thalía, known in American music markets for her Fat Joe-assisted “I Want You,” has been a charitable key in giving back to underprivileged women and children from Latin American countries. Her more familiar feat comes from participation as a spokeswoman and ambassador for global campaign March of Dimes, an initiative that educates and funds the developing Latin American world of hazardous premature births,

3) Puerto Rican-Cape Verdean hip-hop icon Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes not only served as a member of R&B trio TLC but has additionally held philanthropic ties with organizations alleviating AIDS, alongside giving back to international ones concerned with poverty. Lopes’ most profound advocate roles derived from her donative unit Lisa Lopes Foundation, an organization that provides shelter and necessities to developing Honduran sites.

4) Puerto Rican actress and choreographer Rosie Perez is undoubtedly synonymous with addressing health awareness statements, especially in concern to the discussion of HIV/AIDS. Expanding herself from an inner-city educator to a global spokesperson, the “In Loving Color” choreographer has been massively active in endorsing AIDS-related fundraisers and providing global education of the sexual disease by support of her role in the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA), as appointed by President Barack Obama.

5) Honduran entertainer America Ferrera, best known for her televised title role as “Ugly Betty,” first explored her philanthropic skills when she participated with Aquafresh White Trays to provide immediate dental care to women in need. Since her “fresh mouth” spot, Ferrera has worked in conjunction with fellow celebrities in combating AIDS and cancer, and has more notably collaborated with programs like international “Save the Children” and Hispanic Heritage Foundation-associated “READ: Refugee Enrichment and Development” to enhance education for the impoverished; the former notably raising funds to build schools in Mali.

6) Mexican film starlet Salma Hayek has provided a passionate take on helping battered women of all ages around the world. Among her most high-profiled recognitions include her $75,000 donation to Mexican-operated charity units that minimize domestic hardships in northeastern regions of Mexico. Hayek has more notably co-founded CHIME for a Change and its Syrian-based initiative to improve lives like those hailing from the Middle East who have been displaced by brutal conflict.

7) Greatly known for her filming roles as Gail in “Sin City” and Chelsea Brown in the recent “Top Five,” Puerto Rican-Cuban actress Rosario Dawson has taken part in programs that enrich African lives for a socially- and domestically-healthy cause. From attending a 2005 United Nations conference to promote environmental preservation as a poverty eliminator, the “Men in Black II” co-star has been a frequent advocate for the global “V-Day campaign,” a movement that stops violence against women; moreover, Dawnson has launched several initiatives that embrace native Africans who specialize in fashion or design.

8) Renowned Mexican singer and former X-Factor judge Paulina Rubio has led a moderate philanthropic trail in shielding Latinos from sexual diseases like HIV/AIDS. Appointed as the then-newest “Madrina” for the Latino Commission on AIDS in 2007, the “Boys Will Be Boys” musician remains a vast component in initiating safe sex campaigns geared towards a Latino audience, not only from the Latino Commission, but also for accompanying international nonprofits like the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

9) Pop culturally known for her sexual-liberating role as Gabrielle of “Desperate Housewives,” Mexican starlet Eva Longoria has been regarded as among the top philanthropists, particularly for her vast achievements in giving back to a large number of communities. Longoria’s most known charitable causes generally include her involvement with Padres Contra El Cancer and Eva’s Heroes, the latter which improves developmentally challenged children. Further on, Longoria has provided global awareness with her Eva Longoria Fund (ELF), which supports children of any ethnic background who suffer from health-related problems.

10) Finally, the term humanitarian is not fully defined without the mentioning of famed Colombian singer Shakira, who has been featured as a spokeswoman for a number of foundations that give back in millions. The “Whenever, Wherever” artist’s very own organization, Barefoot Foundation, has created over five schools and implemented proper nutritional and educational access to over 30,000 native Colombian families since its launch in 2007.

With the help of these 10 gracious Latina “sheroes,” the developing world might just be a few steps closer in reaching the hopeful of everyone living stably, without financial or health concerns posing as deathly restraints.

– Jeff Varner

Sources: TreeHugger, BORGEN, esmas, PRNewswire 1, San Antonio Express-News, PRNewswire 2, Save the Children,, California Community Foundation, Shape Magazine, TakePart,, Los Angeles Times, VeroNews,
Photo: Billboard

Rock is a traditional musical genre that relays memories within a large following. Five rock-themed acts have touched the lives of millions with their charitable efforts to restore proper global health, gestures that have been just as effective as their own iconic music.

1. Linkin Park

An experimental-meets-metal band known for edge-cutting hits like “In the End,” Linkin Park has been steady in giving back to many over a number of years with their philanthropic routines.

In late December 2004, the platinum-selling group donated over $100,000 to the American Red Cross via the band’s established Music for Relief, giving back to Southeastern Asian natives traumatized by the tsunami that had struck. In addition, as part of Linkin Park’s Music for Relief, the band encourages fans to take part in charitable actions by “Download[ing] to Donate”; in return, generous donors receive musical prizes, typically containing previously unreleased digital goods.

The aforementioned strategy proved useful when the band implemented the tactics in fixing numerous aftereffects caused by global tragedies like Hurricane Katrina and the 2010 Haitian earthquake. Having raised over $5 million since its establishment, by 2014, Linkin Park’s initiative aided West African natives suffering from the treacherous Ebola virus through a separate fundraising activity, one in partnership with interactive charity broadcast Chideo.

2. Nirvana

Another humanitarian rock act is the legendary Nirvana. In 1993, the “Heart-Shaped Box” collective managed to make headlines throughout when the band held a fundraising concert in an effort to give back to Croatian women. As documented in an Entertainment Weekly article, in his early overseas travels Nirvana bassist Chris Novoselic was appalled to learn of the horrors Croatian women endure, not only from suffering rape at the hands of Serbian soldiers but also from the forced birthing of the soldiers’ children.

With this, Nirvana managed to rally enough attention to treat the cause; in the end, the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” group racked up an estimate of over $60,000 per combined 10,000 ticket sales. All proceeds went to Tresnjevka Women’s Group, as part of an effort to designate mobile units and medical centers to women.

3. Pearl Jam

Nirvana and Linkin Park were not the only musical acts to enrich suffering lives. Renowned alternative-rock group Pearl Jam followed suit with their charitable causes, which were geared towards international crises like climatic extremities and wars. In 1999, Pearl Jam prepared a benefit album that would give back to refugees in the Kosovo War, featuring the group’s biggest hit: the cover recording of “The Last Kiss.”

Proceeds collected from the J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers cover were donated to CARE, an organization benefiting Kosovo refugees. Aside from the moving gesture, Pearl Jam took on more accompanying humanitarian roles, such as fundraising for the betterment of the environment, alongside headlining charity concerts that combatted world hunger.

4. Evanescence

2000s metal-rock band Evanescence is far from inexperienced with taking on a number of advocate roles. Some of the “Bring Me to Life” unit’s most familiar causes include their donative proceeds collected per each 2006 “Open Door” outtake “Together Again.” The funds were used to help those affected by the 2010 Haitian earthquake.

As part of a partnership with the United Nations Foundation, funds generated from Evanescence’s single would immediately go towards distributing food, water, medicine and emergency relief to the earthquake victims.

5. Radiohead

The fifth and final musical group in “rocking out” for a difference is innovative Radiohead. The English-based game-changing unit has been involved in an assorted number of programs that both treat and expose overlooked issues in the developing world.

In 2008, the “There, There” band formed a side-charitable supergroup, Seven Worlds Collide, with fellow peers Wilco, The Smiths and Neil Finn to pool the funds collected per each group’s released material and direct it towards Oxfam, an international operative organization that works endlessly to seek solutions in alleviating poverty and injustice. Aside from musical collaborative work, Radiohead additionally designated sincere measures when the pact agreed on donating their visual “All I Need” as a promo for MTV, in an effort to raise awareness of the drastic human trafficking issue that occurs consistently in unimagined environments like third-world sweatshops.

With these five acts rocking out for a change, one can only hope that optimization will be instilled in progressing generations that may view the groups’ humanitarian milestones as setting the world at a more reasonable pace.

Jeff Varner

Sources: Billboard, United Nations Foundation, AltWire, MTV, Paste, BBC News, United Nations Foundation, MTV, UpVenue, Entertainment Weekly
Photo: Captains Dead

On July 8, the stars of One Direction launched the action/1D campaign to rally their expansive fan base to speak out regarding their views on extreme poverty, climate change and inequality.

In the fall and winter of this year, leaders from around the world will attend two conferences to talk about and make a change surrounding these issues and many more global problems. The popular boy band members, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan and Liam Payne, are urging their fans to take an active part in the discussion by participating in their movement, action/1D.

“So, now is the time for us all to have our say, to take action and to show that we care. We can be part of something that actually makes a difference to our future and helps people who need the support,” Tomlinson said.

Horan and Payne also said that they would like fans to help promote the cause by speaking out about goals that members of the cause may have to get the attention of world leaders.

“Become part of action/1D. Make your voice heard, and make 2015 the year we change our futures forever,” Horan said.

One Direction’s manifesto is associated with action/2015, which is an organization that combines a group of more than 1,600 organizations around the globe who share the goal of providing a better future for the world’s peoples.

The action/2015 website said that although there has been some success, the world is not moving in the right direction for confronting inequality, terminating poverty or dodging hazardous climate change.

“We’ve already made progress—we’ve halved extreme poverty rates, cut preventable child deaths by nearly 50 percent and made real progress in protecting the ozone layer. When we come together, we can make a difference. But we need to move faster—there’s still so much to do,” the website said.

According to action/2015, one of the conferences, which takes place in September, will address inequality and poverty and will focus on creating a permanent solution. The other summit, which will occur in December, will discuss climate change and will explore different methods to conduct research and inform the world about ways to help preserve the Earth.

One Direction encourages viewers to demonstrate their opinions through the use of creativity. The website hosts a webpage that allows fans to post upload media that relates to the featured causes.

“All you need to do is tell us what you want your world to look like in the future. You can make videos or send us pictures. It’s easy. Just complete one of the actions listed on our site,” Payne said.

Each week, new prompts are posted on the action/1D website that explain what action participants can perform. The posts contain a topic that deals with a worldwide issue and instructions for a picture or a video. The most recent post asked partakers to “film a close-up part of your face—your mouth speaking, your ear, maybe your eye blinking” to exhibit the theme “Speak, Listen, Watch” to stimulate conversation about the issues.

So far, there have been almost 43 thousand actions posted to the action/1D website.

To get involved, or to learn more about action/1D, visit their website.

Fallon Lineberger

Sources: Action/1D 1, Action/1D 2, Action/2015 1, Action/2015 2
Photo: Digital Spy

An Israeli heavy metal band by the name of Orphaned Land has generated a loyal fan base with their catchy lyrics and head-banging beats. Besides this accomplishment, however, this band has also transformed their artistic abilities into a political movement, as they convey the message of peace to their listeners. 

Orphaned Land has been on their ‘All Is One’ tour since the summer of 2013. The band toured in Europe, playing 18 shows in six countries, during the fall of 2013. For that leg of the tour, Orphaned Land invited the Palestinian heavy metal band, Khalas, to perform with them and share in the small confinements of their tour bus.

Other bands to join the tour were Klone, The Mars Chronicle and Bilocate. The latter two are bands from France, and the third is from Jordan. This added to the diversity of the tour, and consequently portrayed to the world that people can collaborate harmoniously despite their differences.

The decision for Orphaned Land and Khalas to play together specifically gained attention, as it is an unlikely occurrence for Palestinians and Israelis to work together. The two bands respected the cultural disparities between them, however, and even embraced these differences. This union exemplified the importance of focusing on what brings people together, rather than what drives them apart.

Orphaned Land’s lead singer, Kobi Farhi, highlighted the purpose of the tour, besides the obvious reason of expressing themselves through music, as he explained, “We can’t change the world, but we can give an example of how coexistence is possible… Sharing a stage and sharing a bus is stronger than a thousand words. We’ll show how two people from different backgrounds who live in a conflict zone can perform together.”

The conflict that Farhi mentioned refers to the fight over territory and disputes over ambiguous borders between Israel and Palestine, which arguably began in the late 19th century. Conversely, the war in 1947 was when the extreme violence amplified, which completely changed the map of the Middle East and the temperament of the neighboring states. The conflict and turmoil has persisted ever since, with constant cases of illegal settlements on each other’s land, and violent attacks occurring daily.

Despite this perpetual turmoil, these bands left the conflict behind them for the sake of their love for music. This is a political statement in and of itself, since they are epitomizing tolerance, which is a necessary virtue for the resolution of such a pressing issue.

“We’re living together, we’re playing together, and we’re pissing on all those politicians. It takes them ages to even come to the table or talk about something,” Farhi stated about the politics imbedded in the tour.

The lyrics in the songs composed by Orphaned Land are also focused on politics, as opposed to typical songs written about heartbreak. One of their most popular songs, Disciples of the Sacred Oath, contains the line, “Shall we see the end of war, blood brothers? Or shall we fill another grave, for ourselves we couldn’t save,” which is a direct reference to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Khala’s lead guitarist, Abed Hathut, claimed, “We are metal brothers before everything.” Khala as a group also holds the message of peace close to their hearts, as Hathut added, “There is no bigger message for peace than through this tour.”

The ‘All Is One’ tour certainly speaks volumes on the possibilities for the future of both Israel and Palestine. With younger generations creatively projecting peace through the arts, perhaps a wave of sensibility can overcome these two warring states.

The devastation and poverty caused by the constant conflict between Israel and Palestine cannot be resolved until both sides can shake hands across the table at peace talks. Until then, Orphaned Land and Khalas have left a positive example of cultural harmony, both through their music and their ability to focus on their similarities rather than their differences.

– Danielle Warren

Sources: The Guardian, Orphaned LandSBS
Photo:  StockFreeImages